Why do we copy other lives

evolution Are we a genetic accident?

We only look at evolution from our point of view, the lines of development that led from the first unicellular organisms to more highly developed life beings. We see a trend in this. Instead, it is a steady broadening of the variation.

Martin Neukamm, evolutionary biologist

That means: In the course of time, more and more complex forms join the simple forms of life, without the simply organized forms disappearing.

Evolution has no carte blanche

With all the innumerable possibilities, however, evolution also has its limits. When a cell swims in water or a mammal lives on land, everything doesn't work anymore. Not all options are open anymore, says Prof. Andreas Beyer:

Once a path is taken, there is a sewerage effect.

Prof. Andreas Beyer

A visual comparison: If you put a ball on the top of a mountain, it can roll in different directions and very small bumps will guide its way in detail. However, if it rolls down a mountain side, then this decision has been made and it can only roll down this path.

Point mutation made human brain grow

Neurobiologist Prof. Wieland Huttner from Dresden, together with his colleagues, has apparently found out why our brain is so much larger than that of all ape species. Ultimately, a change within the three billion base pairs of our genome seems to be responsible. A so-called point mutation in which only a single small point changes - in the gene that doubled many millions of years ago. It unfolds its effect in the power plants of our cells, in the mitochondria, and apparently gave our brain the decisive growth boost:

If this point mutation and this partial duplication that preceded it have such effects, then we must ask ourselves whether it should have necessarily existed for us humans.

Prof. Wieland Huttner

Probably not. Because coincidence follows coincidence. Our development process in the course of evolution could not be repeated exactly in the same way, Prof. Matthias Glaubrecht is also certain. From his point of view, this does not only apply to us humans:

We wouldn't be elephants a second time, no people, no giraffes. The coincidence of many coincidences is unique, that is what is fascinating about evolutionary biology. We cannot repeat that.

Prof. Matthias Glaubrecht

He compares it to the train that you missed and on which perhaps the love of life sat. There is no second chance. And just as the meeting with this love would have been a coincidence, so are we humans and all living beings.